He looked at the pitiful man who sat before him.
The man was blind.
Shut off from the world by total darkness. This was his life; the only one he’d ever known.
His blindness had meant a meager and humiliating existence. He was poor. He begged. He survived only by the benevolence of others.
But today everything for him would change.
The disciples were curious.
“Rabbi,” they asked, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (John 9:2, NLT).
There had to be an explanation for everything. Misfortune was explained as the result of someone’s sin.
Jesus continued to stare at the man. Then he spoke with a gentle determination:
“’It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins, ‘Jesus answered. ‘ This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.’” (John 9:3, NLT).
Ah, so then there is a redemptive purpose in human suffering. There was at least a reason for this man’s suffering- and it had nothing to do with anyone’s sin except Adam and Eve’s.
The reason for this man’s blindness – and on this day his appointment with destiny – was so “that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (verse 3, KJV).
The power of God for the glory of God was about to be shown – in a poor blind beggar! Jesus – God’s Son and God in human form – would do this.
“I must work the works of him that sent me,” Jesus says (verse 4, KJV). Then, as he stoops to the ground and looks at the sightless eyes of this blind man, Jesus says:
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (verse 5, KJV).
It is an amazing declaration; an extraordinary claim. It’s powerful here in all its ironic relevance.
No prophet, no statesman, no king, no religious leader has ever said this of himself.
In the previous chapter of John’s gospel, as Jesus has just forgiven the adulteress and told her to “sin no more”, he says to the crowd:
“I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12, NKJV).
Jesus does not say he gives the light of the world. He does not say he has the light of the world.
Jesus declares categorically that he IS the light of the world.
Jesus made many claims about himself that are unprecedented, incomparable and superlative. It is impossible to rationally consider them and deny his deity.
Jesus’ claims may be described as a perfectly justified and authenticated divine audacity.
He’s triumphant, transcendent and omnipotent.
He is the cosmic Christ.
His coming is foretold in scripture with a bold eloquence.
Seven hundred years before his birth, the prophet Isaiah wrote that the time would come when Galilee would be radiant with God’s glory:
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light shined” (Isaiah 9:2, KJV).
Zechariah said that his new-born son would prepare the way for the One who would “give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins” and “through the tender mercy of our God” would “give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 2: 77-79, KJV).
John the Baptist “was not that Light, but was come to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:8-9, KJV).
This is Jesus: Redeemer, Savior, Messiah and the true Light of the world.
“In him,” writes John the apostle, “was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4, KJV).
We face increasing cultural pressure to accept the false notion that all religions – and all gods – stand on equal ground. To embrace this political correctness is to deny the supremacy of Jesus Christ. To adopt this view in the name of a misplaced tolerance is to deny our faith, the Bible and the truth of God himself.
For the believer, this must never be.
To walk down this road of accommodation is to place popular convention above historic Christianity.
Jesus Christ is not just another god. He – and he alone – is God among the gods.
Jesus spit on the dirt. He made clay. He put the mud on the blind man’s eyes and told him to wash them.
The blind beggar obeyed. And seeing the glistening waters of the pool of Siloam for the first time, the man was transformed.
Just like you and me, he was changed forever.
He who had sat in the darkness and the dust his whole life had suddenly seen a great light. Upon him, the light of the world shined.
“Once I was blind,” he shouted with joy, “and now I can see!”
He believed in Jesus and became his follower.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5, NLT).
This Christmas let us celebrate the Cosmic Christ.
May God bless you and your family.